In this never-ending stream of outrageous stories that now makes up American political news coverage, it’s hard to be shocked. But many Americans were absolutely outraged yesterday, when news broke about the White House’s treatment of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
It’s not a secret that President Trump views McCain as a challenger. Since McCain has a loyalty to the Constitution (demonstrated through faithful military service and years of public service), his allegiance isn’t for sale and cannot be bought by Donald Trump. If you ever question McCain’s character, just remember this:
In 5.5 yrs as POW, McCain lost 50 lbs, was bound and beaten as often as every 2 hours, yet still refused early release. Lifelong injuries.
That doesn't put his political decisions above reproach, but it damn sure entitles him to respect from his countrymen as he battles cancer.
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) May 11, 2018
The shocking event was reported yesterday. Trump aide (ironically in the communications department) Kelly Sadler dismissed McCain’s criticism of Trump’s C.I.A. director by saying:
‘It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.’
Yes, you read that correctly. There are several horrible implications of this quote. First of all, this is an insight to how criticism is handled in this administration. Instead of viewing McCain’s comments regarding Trump’s nominee Gina Haspel as an opportunity to more deeply understand the experience of a POW, Sadler saw it as a problem. McCain’s statement about Haspel’s unwillingness to disavow the same kind of torture that was used on him was a measured response:
‘I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense. However, Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination.’
Secondly, we learn that the White House felt no need to disavow the statement. Make no mistake, this is not just an unconfirmed rumor. John McCain is dying of cancer, and this staffer is gleefully celebrating the fact that he won’t be around to block Trump’s agenda much longer. The White House confirmed that Sadler indeed made that horrific quip.
This is shocking, even in our current political climate. An example of the general public sentiment after the story broke:
I don’t share a lot of the same views politically as John McCain, but, I would never say the horrible things the Republicans say on a daily basis about this heroic American. Our country, and it’s people, have become unrecognizable to me. I’m ashamed.
— Mark Schweitzer (@MarkSchweitzer) May 11, 2018
McCain’s colleague in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham shared some forceful words with Sadler:
‘Ms. Sadler, may I remind you that John McCain has a lot of friends in the United States Senate on both sides of the aisle. Nobody is laughing in the Senate.’
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was almost speechless:
There are no words. https://t.co/N6RF4kyHLo
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) May 11, 2018
Even McCain’s wife Cindy stood up to Sadler, tweeting:
@kellysadler45 May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) May 10, 2018
Meghan McCain Hits Back
So, it makes sense that Sen. McCain’s daughter Meghan would use her visibility as a host of The View to speak directly to the woman who made fun of her dad’s death.
"Don't feel bad for me or my family." @MeghanMcCain responds White House aide Kelly Sadler who mocked Sen. John McCain as "dying anyway": "There's so much more love and prayer and amazing energy being generated towards us … it is not how you die, it is how you live." pic.twitter.com/w4ZLe24Vx1
— The View (@TheView) May 11, 2018
She spoke the words that the whole nation was thinking:
‘I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable, and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job.’
In all honesty, it’s almost disingenuous to be caught off guard by Sadler’s insensitive remark. After all, the atmosphere in the West Wing is dictated by President Trump. Here’s a quick reminder of Trump’s previous statements regarding John McCain:
After McCain defeated Trump’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it was reported that Trump mocked him in private, making fun of the now-iconic McCain Thumbs Down.
Don’t forget this gem, where Trump mocked McCain’s time in captivity during the Vietnam War:
This statement by Sadler is just but one example of the complete lack of civility in the Trump administration. Unfortunately, the tone set by Trump is echoed in his die-hard supporters. They have joined together in support of Kelly Sadler’s remark:
— Paul Donohoe (@donohoepeeps) May 11, 2018
@MeghanMcCain @SenJohnMcCain Wow. Stupidity is inherited. Sen McCain is a disgrace to the USA and the GOP. He is not a hero by any means. A survivor and liar – yes. Beyond that, both of you are pieces of 💩. #McCainIsNotAHero #MeghanMcCainIsAMoron #StupidFamily
— The G Man View (@TheGManView) May 11, 2018
The virus is spreading, making America Hate Again.
Featured image: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty